GYMNAST Louis Smith defended his Junior European title on the pommel horse to add another gold to the one he picked up at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Now Smith, 17, who trains at Huntingdon s Olympic Gym, will focus on goals that ultimatley aim
GYMNAST Louis Smith defended his Junior European title on the pommel horse to add another gold to the one he picked up at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Now Smith, 17, who trains at Huntingdon's Olympic Gym, will focus on goals that ultimatley aim at golden glory at the 2012 London Games.
Smith pulled off the rare feat of retaining a Junior European title after qualifying for the final in second spot from a field of 130 of Europe's premier gymnasts.
Smith then chose to perform a routine carrying a difficulty level higher than those of his competitiors in the final.
His commanding performance of the complex circle and scissor movements gave him a score of 14.95, over two tenths better than his nearest rivals, the Russians Petrov and Olennikov.
Smith was ecstatic after receiving his medal at the games, in Volos, Greece, last weekend.
"I am pleased that I have been able to retain my title," he said, "and also very relieved that the long preparation is now over."
"I can now look forward to concentrating on this month's A-level exams, as well as preparing for World Championships in October," he added.
Great Britain Team Coach Paul Hall, who is based at the Olympic Gym, afterwards expressed pride at Smith's achievement.
"I am so pleased for Louis to be rewarded for all his efforts and hope we can now focus on the next six years and make dreams come true for London 2012."
Smith's performance rounded-off a good competition for the British Junior squad, who finished in an impressive fourth place overall.
Pictured: Louis Smith of Huntingdon's Olympic Gym stands on the rostrum for the national anthem after successfully defending his Junior European title in Greece.
Picture: VOLKER MINKUS